As Wren approached a park side mooring at Bidford on Avon on Sunday evening Andy Murray hit the winning shot in the Wimbledon final - it was a bit distracting as the available space was very tight and the breeze was pretty fresh! However, now we're safely moored, freshly showered and Peter is playing Smooth Operator on his ukelele.
It's been three days since the last episode of the Voyages of Wren so here's the latest news; we left Gloucester Dock with its noisy seagulls and peaceful pirates at 10.45am on Friday and rejoined The Severn as far as Tewkesbury to meet the River Avon (fifth river and second Avon of the trip). Once there Wren was moored up and Peter and I jumped on our bikes to ride to the railway station to catch a train to Worcester where we would meet son Sam to enjoy the Worcestershire v Lancashire T20 blast - there were an awful lot of fours and sixes and Lancashire won. After that it was back to Wren by train and bike.
Saturday morning was spent exploring Tewkesbury - it was the annual Medieval Fair with banner lined streets and a fair amount of dressing up. There was an excellent farmer's market where some tasty local produce was purchased. This was situated next door to the Abbey which was absolutely stunning.
After a couple of hours it was time to cast off once again and pay the dues for entering the Avon Navigation - it's run by a voluntary organisation so a separate license is required to travel along the waterway. For much of the first 15 miles the river winds around Bredon Hill - you seem to see it from various directions. The surrounding countryside is very pretty and preferable to the Severn where the high banks prevent you from appreciating the views. Pershore was the destination for Saturday night where the excellent Brandy Cask public house was awaiting our visit (recommended by some well known Ellesmere boaters). Again the town is very pleasant and the pub is a little gem.
Sunday morning saw Wren continuing along the lovely Avon, still with views of Bredon Hill via a number of locks, one of which is diamond shaped and a little disconcerting particularly when there are two boats sharing. Approaching Evesham all boats are requested to sound their horns loudly three times to alert the ferry which runs on cables across the river and after passing through the town Peter decided it was time to don his wetsuit and try out the waters while Wren acted as a swimming platform and rescue boat (luckily not needed).
Now it's time to explore Bidford with friends Craig and Helen who've just arrived from nearby Kineton.